School of Syncopation - Jazz, Stride, Novelties & the Like

Piano, Fortepiano and Harpsichord Music
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gigiranalli
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Re: School of Syncopation - Jazz, Stride, Novelties & the Like.

Post by gigiranalli » Fri May 07, 2010 1:17 pm

Again on Max Kortlander, here's "Shimmie Shoes".
When I find it back, I can also post "Red Clover": I have a ready scan of that piece, but I don't remember where I saved it.
Luigi
Last edited by gigiranalli on Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fhimpsl
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Re: School of Syncopation - Jazz, Stride, Novelties & the Like.

Post by fhimpsl » Fri May 07, 2010 1:37 pm

gigiranalli wrote:Again on Max Kortlander, I post here the published version of his "Deuces Wild".
You may find it interesting to compare it with how he recorded the piece on piano roll: Frank Himpsl has posted his great transcription of that roll on the Piano Roll Transcriptions section.
Staying on cards, I also attach "Deuces Wild Rag", composed by Hubert Bauersachs. There's also a great piano roll of this piece played by Sybil Court, who also recorded a roll of Bauersachs' "Melrose Rag".
And by the way you can find the sheet music for "Melrose Rag" here:
http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/metsnav ... 2/METADATA
At this point I'd have a question for Frank: I've heard that Sybil Court was a pseudonym used by Rudy Erlebach. Do you think there's some truth in that?".
Best RAGards
Luigi
Dear Luigi,
Thanks for posting the wonderful Kortlander/Wendling folio for all of us (I was going to scan it eventually, and you beat me to the punch!) I agree with you that some of the pieces are by Kortlander; some by Wendling. Mills published three of Kortlander's compositions separately as you know, but for some reason they never published "Blue Clover". At least it is on roll; both as an instrumental rag and as a song roll entitled "Blue Clover Man." I think the latter is one of Kortlander's very best rolls...right up there with his roll of "Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider!"
The Bauersachs rags "Melrose" and "Deuces Wild" were commissioned by Bauersachs himself, and practically all copies which exist are in like-new condition because they came out of Bauersachs basement! Trebor Tichenor met Bauersachs when he was already in his 90s, and was able to obtain copies of these rolls and the sheet music as well. I like both the pieces. "Deuces Wild" is more sophisticated as with a classic rag, and "Melrose Rag" is a regular barn-burner!
Sybil Court was a pseudonym that Herbert Clair used on the Connorized label. Rudy Erlebach was working at Aeolian in 1922 when the Bauersachs rolls were done. Clair used a pseudonym because he was under contract with Aeolian at the time as well, but he was used to moonlighting at other roll companies! ;) About 1923 Clair went to QRS and made some of the greatest novelty rolls of all time.
Hope that covers all the bases! Thanks again and as always
All Best,
Frank :D

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Re: School of Syncopation - Jazz, Stride, Novelties & the Like.

Post by gigiranalli » Fri May 07, 2010 1:47 pm

fhimpsl wrote: Dear Luigi,
Thanks for posting the wonderful Kortlander/Wendling folio for all of us (I was going to scan it eventually, and you beat me to the punch!) I agree with you that some of the pieces are by Kortlander; some by Wendling. Mills published three of Kortlander's compositions separately as you know, but for some reason they never published "Blue Clover". At least it is on roll; both as an instrumental rag and as a song roll entitled "Blue Clover Man." I think the latter is one of Kortlander's very best rolls...right up there with his roll of "Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider!"
The Bauersachs rags "Melrose" and "Deuces Wild" were commissioned by Bauersachs himself, and practically all copies which exist are in like-new condition because they came out of Bauersachs basement! Trebor Tichenor met Bauersachs when he was already in his 90s, and was able to obtain copies of these rolls and the sheet music as well. I like both the pieces. "Deuces Wild" is more sophisticated as with a classic rag, and "Melrose Rag" is a regular barn-burner!
Sybil Court was a pseudonym that Herbert Clair used on the Connorized label. Rudy Erlebach was working at Aeolian in 1922 when the Bauersachs rolls were done. Clair used a pseudonym because he was under contract with Aeolian at the time as well, but he was used to moonlighting at other roll companies! ;) About 1923 Clair went to QRS and made some of the greatest novelty rolls of all time.
Hope that covers all the bases! Thanks again and as always
All Best,
Frank :D
Dear Frank,
thank you very much for the information!
I didn't know all these details about Bauersachs and I'm also very glad to have an original of "Deuces Wild Rag" coming from Bauersachs' basement! The cover was in black & white so i imagined it may have been a low budget publication.
Thanks for the clarification about Sybil Court's real identity!
I'll have more questions about piano roll artists to ask you. I'll accompany the questions with sheet music related to the musicians.
Best RAGards
Luigi

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Re: School of Syncopation - Jazz, Stride, Novelties & the Like.

Post by gigiranalli » Fri May 07, 2010 9:40 pm

Again dealing with Max Kortlander, I post his nice "Red Clover".
I'm going to prepare the Seger Ellis stuff very soon, that's very nice stuff.
Best
Luigi
Last edited by gigiranalli on Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: School of Syncopation - Jazz, Stride, Novelties & the Like.

Post by gigiranalli » Sat May 08, 2010 12:01 pm

Seger Ellis was born in Houston, Texas, on July 4, 1904.
He started taking piano lessons at age 9 and then became interested in three local pianists named Charlie Dickson, Peck Kelley and Jack Sharpe.
Seger recalled:”Those three pianists pretty much had Houston sewed up when I was a kid and I would watch these fellows all the time”.
According to Seger, he never tried to copy Peck Kelley (there are some existing recordings of Kelley, although very scarce), while he was actually very influenced by Jack Sharpe, to whom he had asked for piano lessons.
Sharpe was strictly an ear pianists and so the piano lessons consisted in Sharpe playing something and Ellis trying to repeat that.
If you’re familiar with Seger Ellis’ piano style, you’ll have certainly noticed his particular walking bass, that is actually quite a trademark of Texan ragtime. If I remember correctly, in his autobiography, Perry Bradford remembered the old days of early ragtime where there was already that “boogie” bass and that was played in Texas and known as “Texas bass”.
If you re-check my transcription of the “Texas Blues” piano roll played by Les Copeland you’ll have noticed there’s a lot of walking bass in there, while that’s not present in the simplified published version: that was was certainly the reason to call the piece the original “Texas Blues”.
Anyway Ellis’ walking bass originated from Jack Sharpe’s style. According to Seger Ellis:”My left hand is similar to how Jack played. It was gutbucket stuff, but I tried to deviate from standard blues changes”.
In the 1920s Seger Ellis had the possibility to publish some of his works, he recorded a bunch of piano solos (I have all of them, with the exception of the ones that were not issued, that are quite a number!) and started his successful career as a singer.
Although he’s best remembered as a singer and a songwriter, I think that his best things were the piano works.
His piano style has little to do with the late advanced ragtime piano styles recorded in those days. Instead, Seger Ellis’ style developed from the oldest folk ragtime piano styles, to which he added a number of weird effects and tricks. He was also at his ease with the blues and in fact when you listen to his recordings you would bet he was black, while he actually was white.
After this long introduction, I post his fantastic piano solo of “You’ll Want Me Back Some Day”, recorded in New Jersey on August 10 1925.
I consider this recording to be the best piano solo recorded in the 1920s.
Maybe some of you already have this recording, but the copy recently issued on CD is very poor sounding and also fastened up. I recommend you listen to this MP3.
I also post the sheet music of “Prairie Blues” and “Sentimental Blues” (Ellis recorded both pieces two times, I can post the four recordings if there’s interest), the simplified self-published version of “You’ll Want Me Back Some Day” and a 1930 recording of Seger Ellis, entitled “Shivery Stomp”.
After listening to the Segr Ellis recording, if you listen again to the three recordings of Euday Bowman I had posted here and then also to the recording of Bob Wright playing Clarence Woods’ “Black Satin”, you’ll recognize that Ellis is the natural evolution of old Texas ragtime piano.
I hope you’ll also enjoy his very particular style!.
Best
Luigi
Last edited by gigiranalli on Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: School of Syncopation - Jazz, Stride, Novelties & the Like.

Post by fhimpsl » Sat May 08, 2010 4:43 pm

Dear Luigi,
Thanks for a wonderful write-up on Seger Ellis, and especially for the mp3 of "You'll Want Me Back Someday." I've listened to it several times now and even though I have the record and remember it being great, the clarity of your transfer just brings it to life. I don't know that I could say it's THE best piano solo from the 1920s, but it's certainly the very best recording ever done in the Texas blues style!!
Are you aware of a video documentary that was made about Ellis' life and career? It was done in the late 60s or early 70s, when he was very much alive and quite a character! I have this on VHS and right now my one of my daughters is searching for it. If it turns up (hopefully!) I can have it transferred to DVD for you. You would get a royal charge out of seeing this video. :D
All best,
Frank

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Re: School of Syncopation - Jazz, Stride, Novelties & the Li

Post by fhimpsl » Sat May 08, 2010 6:42 pm

With thanks to my daughter for finding this...There was a 1hr. documentary about Seger Ellis' life and career made by KVHT TV in Houston, Texas in 1986; entitled "As Long As There's A Breath." I don't know when Ellis passed away, but he was certainly in spry shape for this video.
A last few things on Ellis...I have scanned all the original roll box labels so members can see what these things look like out of curiosity. The US roll of "Mamma Blues" is credited to Cal Welch, which was a commonly used pseudonym for J.Lawrence Cook. There were two versions of the QRS roll of "Texas Wail Blues" which were identical musically but differ in that one had printed lyrics and the other one did not. My good friend Mike Montgomery met and interviewed Ellis May 15, 1964 and had him autograph his QRS and US rolls of "Texas Wail Blues." Note on the QRS roll the stenciled handstamp which was applied by the manufacturer with Ellis' own autograph beside. The US roll of "Texas Wail" did not come with a stencilled autograph, but there's a nice dedication to Mike written by Ellis on the leader. Can't think of anything else for the Seger Ellis archives, so I guess we'll have to move on to another composer!

All best,
Frank
Ellis, Seger - Original Piano Rolls.jpg
Ellis, Seger - Texas Wail US - Autographed Roll Leader.jpg
Ellis, Seger - Texas Wail QRS - Stencil & Autograph Signatures.jpg
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benjamin75

Re: School of Syncopation - Jazz, Stride, Novelties & the Like.

Post by benjamin75 » Sat May 08, 2010 7:05 pm

Thank you so much for these incredible documents concerning Seger Ellis!!!


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Re: School of Syncopation - Jazz, Stride, Novelties & the Like.

Post by gigiranalli » Sun May 09, 2010 1:10 pm

fhimpsl wrote: Are you aware of a video documentary that was made about Ellis' life and career? It was done in the late 60s or early 70s, when he was very much alive and quite a character! I have this on VHS and right now my one of my daughters is searching for it. If it turns up (hopefully!) I can have it transferred to DVD for you. You would get a royal charge out of seeing this video. :D
Dear Frank,
no, I didn't know about this video of Seger Ellis.
Thank you so much for offering to send me a DVD copy of that!!! If you manage to find it back, it would be great to watch it!!! :D
Thanks!!!! :D :D :D
I'm going to prepare another couple of things to post about Texas and New Orleans ragtime soon.
I saw your pictures of the Seger Ellis autographs and writings and that's very interesting! The way he writes the capital S of "Seger" is more or less like a reversed clef, both in the printed autograph of the piano roll and in the pen writing. His autograph must have become more elegant and confident through the years (an effect of success?).
Best RAGards
Luigi

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Re: School of Syncopation - Jazz, Stride, Novelties & the Like.

Post by gigiranalli » Tue May 11, 2010 1:28 pm

gigiranalli wrote:The first strain of the "Barrel House Rag" starts with a riff known in New Orleans as "Get Over, Dirty!". This very strain was also used in a Roy Carew ragtime medley, which I will send later, and, in slightly modified form, in "Tiger Rag".
I'm quoting myself, since I had already talked about the "Get Over Dirty!" strain in the "Barrel House Rag", also present in modified form in "Tiger Rag".
Roy Carew of New Orleans, an old friend of Tony Jackson and Jelly Roll Morton, composed a number of rags including floating ragtime strains heard in New Orleans in the early 1900s.
Among these pieces, there are two called "Recreation Rag" no.1 and no.2.
No.2 also includes the "Get Over Dirty!" riff and I post it here for you. This piece is rare and unpublished.
Although Carew wasn't a professional performer in the early 1900s, he must have learned quite a bit from Tony Jackson and other pianists of the time. He also had a great knowledge about this music.
If you'd like to hear Roy Carew in person play the first part of "Recreation Rag no.2", let's listen here: http://louisdl.louislibraries.org/cgi-b ... 002700.ram (you need realplayer to play this).
As everybody knows, Roy Carew published a number of Jelly Roll Morton pieces in the late 1930s-early 1940s and then owned the copyright of the Estate of Jelly Roll Morton.
I have some of these pieces, some transcribed by J. Lawrence Cook and others by Roy Carew himself.
I will post some of them, since I saw there was some interest in Jelly Roll Morton.
BTW some time ago I asked the Library of Congress about some of the Cook manuscript transcriptions of Morton, of pieces that are not Morton originals, like "Buddy Carter Rag", "Benny Frenchy's Defeat", "Rag and Jazz Examples", because I wondered if those were just melody lines or complete transcriptions of what Morton played for Lomax.
I haven't received any reply for the moment...
Best
Luigi
Last edited by gigiranalli on Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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